Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A mercenary, a psychopath & a bundle of cash...what could go wrong?

Again, a question of plot.

I recently finished the game Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, on my Xbox 360. It received mixed reviews, and some people I know with insight into the gaming business sort of sneered when I said I had bought it.

Lynch was a bit pissed at Kane's snoring and bought him a Breathe-Right

In the campaign mode, you play Kane, a former merc who is rescued from a prison transport and then paired up with an unstable psycho called Lynch to retrieve a large sum of money that Kane supposedly stole from his former mercenary partners, The7. The game involves shootouts, sneaking around, family members murdered, betrayals, yada yada yada.

Kane & Lynch is definitely not the best game I've played, nor is it the worst. And while there are some problems with the actual mechanics of the game (is that the right term, oh game geeks? Mechanics?), the main problem is the story. The plot.

It begins promising, but clichéd, then builds through a number of cityscape scenes obviously inspired by, among others, Michael Mann's Heat (Best. Shootout. Ever.). Unfortunately, the end doesn't deliver, at all, and throughout the game, it feels as if there are cut scenes missing between levels, and no real explanation of why you move from one setting to the next.

With more time, more work on the story and a more powerful ending, this could have been a great game. Dark and intense, and above all different. Now it feels like any low-rate action thriller that didn't get the proper budget or script treatment. Too bad.

Oh. Of course there's a movie in the making. Lo and behold, it's stunt coordinator/second unit director Simon Crane who'll make his directorial debut, and rumors point to Bruce Willis starring as Kane and possible Mickey Rourke or Billy Bob Thornton as Lynch. In the hands of an experienced director and above all an experienced screenwriter (Kyle Ward has written one movie that no one has heard of), Kane & Lynch could be really great. Again: dark, intense, different. Is it too much to ask for the Coen Brothers or David Fincher to do a video game adaptation? Script by Jonathan Nolan? No?


Joel said...

It's not quite the same thing, Billy Bob & Bruce Willis in a bank robber movie:


I'm not sure how soon Billy Bob's going to be going back to film work, though. He was pretty upset when he was asked about it recently:


beardonaut said...

Bandits is actually a decent movie, mostly because of Billy Bob's extremely hypocondrial character, and of course Cate Blanchett, who delivers yet again.

Anonymous said...